Systems Advocacy

The Alliance works to improve support and lessen the impact of sexual violence on the lives of survivors by focusing on the systems set up to respond to violence in our city



  1. a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.
  1. a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized framework or method.

In New York City, a variety of agencies and community-based organizations are set up to help people move forward after violence has come into their lives.  This system of sexual violence response includes hospitals, law enforcement, advocacy, prosecution and other attorneys, and government agencies that protect vulnerable children and adults.  Together, we are supposed to ensure that no survivor is left behind.  Individually, we all have our own ways of working that can be limited by the law, funding, and other factors.  Collaboration across these differences can be as complicated as it is essential.

We work to increase options to meet the needs of all New York City survivors

At the Alliance, we utilize our unique role as connector between New York City’s survivor-serving programs to promote improvement in the system response to sexual violence.  We work closely with the New York Police Department, district attorneys’ offices, medical professionals from across the city’s 51 hospital emergency departments, legal agencies that serve survivors, campuses and organizations embedded in different cultural communities. 

We work to map out the journeys survivors in our city make as they seek safety, justice, and healing.  Sexual violence disproportionately impacts New Yorkers from marginalized communities and identities.  As such, we focus on the factors contributing to challenges survivors are facing and the consequences of disciplines sticking to “business as usual” when dealing with vulnerable people who have suffered this unique form of violence.

The Alliance team also actively participates in a range of task forces, coalitions and other groups that bring together a diversity of stakeholders working on the issue of sexual violence.

Helpful reading and systems change resources

Online Resource Hub: Sexual Assault Response Team Toolkit: Learn About SARTs
(Published by National Sexual Violence Resource Center)

Article: “Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs): An Empirical Review of Their Effectiveness and Challenges to Successful Implementation,”
(Authors: Greeson, M. R. and R. Campbell; published in Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 14: 83-95, 2013)

Factsheet: Sexual Assault Response Teams & Systems Change,
(Published by: Sexual Violence Justice Institute (Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault))

Factsheet: Phases of Change X Communication Feedback Loop,
(Published by: Sexual Violence Justice Institute (Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault))

Report: The Water of Systems Change.”
(Authors: Kramer, Mark R., John Kania, and Peter Senge; published by FSG, May 2018)

For more information about the Alliance’s systems change initiative, contact Emily Miles, Executive Director email